Uncertain Times

Hi Friends,

I’m writing this message the day before the US election, and there’s tremendous tension in this country right now. Stores in some cities have boarded up their windows and hired extra security in anticipation of civil unrest. I hope it doesn’t come to that. My wish is that we’re able to pull together as a country and find ways to face our challenges without violence. We’ll see how it unfolds. I hope it’s peaceful in your part of the world.

On a different note, some people have asked how I create my new poured paintings, so I thought I’d give you a quick visual demonstration of the process.

I start with unprimed cotton canvas. I scrunch it up into a ball, to create wrinkles and areas that will resist the paint, and cram it tight into a bucket.

Cassandra Tondro poured painting process

All of my paintings are created using leftover house paint. I dilute the paint with water until it’s the consistency of milk, and pour it over the scrunched up canvas.

Cassandra Tondro poured painting process

I pull the canvas out of the bucket, let the excess paint drip off, and lay it flat to dry.

Cassandra Tondro poured painting process

I repeat the process in layers, adding additional colors one at a time, and letting the piece dry between each color. Most of the paint ends up on the top and at the bottom of the bucket, so I have some control over the results by my placement of the canvas in the bucket.

Cassandra Tondro poured painting process

Cassandra Tondro poured painting process

When choosing colors, I focus on the feeling I want to depict, and I often take inspiration from things I see in nature. Do I want the piece to be joyful, somber, quiet, loud?

The most important part of the process is at the end, when I decide how to crop the painting. Sometimes I use the front of the canvas, and other times the back is more interesting. It might end up being a 36″ x 48″ painting or a 24″ x 24″ piece, depending on what looks best.

I cut a section out of the middle for this painting, and here’s how it looks stretched. Click on the image for more information about this piece.

Cassandra Tondro, "Amidst Uncertainty," abstract painting

“Uncertainty,” 40 x 30 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

There’s a lot I still have to learn about this technique, and the paintings don’t always turn out as I had hoped. The results vary depending on the value of the colors and the opacity or transparency of the paints. I haven’t mastered the process yet, and that’s what keeps it interesting — not knowing what will happen and working with unexpected results.

Let’s do a check in — how are you doing during these uncertain times? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,
Cassandra

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